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With Karachi Kings winning their match against Islamabad United, the tournament is cut wide open. Apart from Lahore Qalandars, who are at the bottom of the table, all the five teams seem to be in with a realisitic chance to qualify for the next round. A lot of things will get clearer over the course of next week, which begins with Karachi Kings taking on Peshawar Zalmi. The two teams are going almost neck and neck on the points table and a win here will do world of good for whichever side that wins the upcoming contest. The two teams are set to locks horns at Rawalpindi Cricket Stadium, Rawalpindi. Apart from one point, because of which the Zalmis are ahead on the points table, the only difference between the two sides is that the Kings have played four matches, that is, one match less than the Zalmi. A loss here for Peshawar would put them at par with Islamabad United, albeit not on net run-rate and qualifying from here would then become exgtremely difficult for Peshawar Zalmi.
Peshawar Zalmi's last match was washed out due to rain, leaving them in a position of uncertanity as far as points table is concerned. The result didn't affect their standing on the points table, but is likely to have a big impact on how they play in the upcoming matches. They would now have to win more often than not and are, therefore, expected to come hard in all of their upcoming games, including the one against Karachi Kings.
Before their match against Islamabad United, Peshawar Zalmi posted a superb win over Lahore Qalandars in a rain-curtailed encounter. Batting first, Peshawar Zalmi posted a total of 132 runs batting first, a total which proved to be too hot to handle for Qalandars. While the total wasn't really unchaseable, the Zalmi bowlers certainly made it look like one.
Lewis Gregory, Wahab Riaz, and Mohammad Amir Khan were all brilliant in the defense as they picked up six wickets between them in eight overs. Gregory derailed the Qalandars chase with quick wickets in middle-overs and he eventually returned with the impressive figures of 4 for 25 in his three overs. While those three have done pretty well so far, the form of Hasan Ali and Rahat Ali has been a cause of concern for Peshawar Zalmi and their fans would be hoping for Rahat Ali and Hasan Ali to find some form sooner rather than later.
Tom Banton, Kamran Akmal, Haider Ali, Liam Livingstone, Shoaib Malik, Lewis Gregory, Carlos Brathwaite, Wahab Riaz, Hasan Ali, Yasir Shah, Rahat Ali.
If there's a team that portrays the true image of the way Pakistan's national team has performed over the years, its Karachi Kings. The Kings have been the most talented yet unpredictable side over the years and that has reflected in the results they have posted. In the current edition, they are placed at the fifth spot with four points to their name and a net run-rate of -0.457.
Karachi Kings Pakistan's best batsmen - Babar Azam, and while he had been in superb form coming into their previous match, it was not his performance that won them the match against Islamabad United. In fact, Babar Azam was dismissed without troubling the scorers. With Babar Azam out with almost nothing on the board while chasing 183, Karachi Kings were staring at a certain defeat. The likes of Sharjeel Khan, Alex Hales, Cameron Delport, and Imad Wasim, however, had other ideas. Although none of their batsmen managed to hit it big, each of those contributed enough to keep them floating, before Imad Wasim played a gem of an innings to take them home. Alex Hales top-scored for them with a 30-ball 52 and Imad Wasim scoerd 32 off just 15 deliveries.
Earlier with the ball, Karachi Kings were disappointed. There is no way that Islamabad United should have been allowed to post the total that they did. Umer Khan and Imad Wasim were good in the middle overs, but apart from them, none of their bowlers was able to put any sort of pressure. Mohammad Amir, Umaid Asif, and Chris Jordan gave away 126 runs combined in the 12 overs and that, at one moment, appeared to be a turning point in the game. However, their batting did a terrific job to win the match and overshadow the issues the Kings have with their bowling. They would need to work out on their bowling and post better results. It is going to be a difficult job in such a jam-packed tournament, and if they can do that, the Kings will be a tough team to beat in the upcoming competitions.
Sharjeel Khan, Babar Azam, AD Hales, C Delport, CAK Walton, Iftikhar Ahmed, SI Wasim, Chris Jordan, Aamer Yamin, Umer Khan, Mohammad Amir.
Almost all the sides are at par in the Pakistan Super League, as far as the composition on paper is concerd. Karachi Kings and Peshawar Zalmi, however, have been doing similarly on performance as well and picking between the two sides is going to be a challenge. The Kings will be brimming will confidence with their win over United and will walk into the upcoming contest with springs in their steps. With Babar Azam, Alex Hales, and Imad Wasim in fine form, Karachi Kings walk in as firm favorites against Peshawar Zalmi.
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